Thursday, March 21, 2013

Worcester Educational Development Foundation presentation

WEDF Board members are here for a presentation on their work supporting the schools, specifically on their strategic plan.
Boone: "Their role is not to supplant what the city ought to be providing" but support and supplement what the schools do
Their mission says that they exist "for the sole purpose of supporting the Worcester Public Schools and identifying resources to meet the needs of the district."

Stephen Pitcher, the president, speaks of the programs supported.
$500,000 five year pledge from the Alden Trust to get all WPS students into our local cultural institutions.
Ed Augustus: "some confusion" from community on fundraising
"very specific ask that was tied very closely to the Worcester Public Schools"
a "major priority project" that WEDF might pursue received at the beginning of each school year
come back (to the School Committee) at the beginning and end of each school year on the progress of the goal
continue the very successful programs, like the mini-grant program (where teachers apply for up to $500 for a classroom project)
Four focus areas:

  • Health and wellness
  • The arts
  • General academics
  • Science and technology
Pursuing a full-time executive director
Continue the programs that have stead funding sources, so long as there is a fundraising program put together, but not distract from the major focus 
"working as a unified community"
"what we're doing is the priority of the Worcester Public Schools"
Boone: athletic pipeline, starting with middle school sports
Blue Ribbon technology panel in December
two places that are gaps; maintained but not grown
"to potentially jump start some phases of those plans"

Maria Gorsuch-Kennedy speaking as a parent: "insight into how this affects my children every day"
art teachers get funding for supplies, which come home as projects
gym teachers got funding for equipment so kids can play foursquare outside
Band at Sullivan Middle got music stands
science: a professional grade weather station outside of Midland Street
"connects kids and what they're learning in the classroom to the world around them"
"find those kids of strategic initiatives that will make those step changes for the schools"
"where all of our children and all of our teachers are thriving"

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